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Reading the Seasons

Books Holding Life and Friendship Together

A book for our times, showing the power of literature to connect us to ourselves and others.

It’s an old cliché that books ‘transport you’; but as any avid reader will tell you, there’s far more to them than that. Alongside comfort and retreat, books offer insight into ourselves and others; they tell us how the world is, was or might be; they are windows into other worlds, whose meanings resonate through the ages. It’s this multiplicity that is at the heart of bibliotherapy, the ancient practice of reading for therapeutic effect.

Reading the Seasons charts the evolution of a friendship through candid letters between bibliotherapists Germaine Leece and Sonya Tsakalakis. Ignited by a shared love of reading, of finding a book for every occasion, every emotion – both for themselves and for their clients – their conversations soon confront life’s ups and downs. The authors they reach for range from Stephen King to Javier Marias, Helen Garner to Maggie O’Farrell, as they reflect upon loss, change, parenting, careers, simple pleasures, travel, successes, fears and uncertainty.

Reading the Seasons not only offers an entryway to new titles but affirms the power of books to console, heal and hold us together as friends and as individuals.

About the Authors

Stories have long shaped Germaine Leece's life. In 2012, moving from a career in publishing and writing, Germaine began her second career as a psychotherapist. Sitting with people as they told their stories felt as natural as delving into the pages of a book, and bibliotherapy soon emerged as the natural marriage of both careers. She now works at a women's counselling centre and privately, under the name New Chapters Bibliotherapy.

Sonya Tsakalakis has her zealous primary school librarian to thank for a lifelong devotion to literature. Fusing her passions for books and wellbeing, Sonya launched her social enterprise, The Literary Hand, in 2013, after a career in allied health. Since then, she has continued to work with community agencies and individuals to foster self-knowledge and connection through stories and poems, as well as offering private bibliotherapy.

 

Paperback, pub Mar 2021.

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